How do you Give Feedback?

Giving feedback is one of the most important tasks for every Leader however, not every Leader gets it right.   So, this month, I thought I’d look at a few different ways Leaders give feedback.

Read through the below to see how you give feedback.

Do you:

a)  Not give any feedback at all?

b)  Only give feedback when someone is not performing or behaving in a negative way?

c)  Give lavish praise when someone is not performing up to an expected level?

d)  Call out what’s going well, what needs development or improvement with a huge emphasis on asking lots of coaching questions?

The Purpose of Giving Feedback

So, which is the most effective way to give feedback from the options above?  Think about it, what are you trying to achieve by giving feedback?  Please don’t say that you give feedback when you need to get a few things off your chest because this is definitely a big NO.  The purpose of giving feedback is to make someone aware of what they are doing well and / or not so well.  Then giving them opportunities, support and coaching to help them keep up to speed and / or help them get up to speed.  In other words, feedback should not just be used when you want to raise their awareness on something they are failing to do.  It should also be used to call out what they are doing well.

You don’t want someone dreading every 1 to 1 with you which would be the case if you chose option b) above.  Or think about the affect option a) above would have on a person – no feedback at all.   The message which could be gleaned from this scenario is that you couldn’t be bothered to give them feedback – this tactic is extremely demotivating for any team member.  Hopefully, you haven’t fallen in to the trap of picking or using option c) as this only sends mixed messages and would leave anyone confused.

A good feedback conversation, yes conversation, should be a two-way conversation.  Using feedback models like CEDAR, which I explain in my video Why Leaders Should Ask More and Tell Less, along with asking effective coaching questions will make for a richer conversation.  A direct result of this is a change, for the better in behaviour or performance when someone is falling below expectations.   And for those already performing well, a continued delivery of expected and above expected behaviours and performance.  Therefore d) is the correct answer.

Changing your approach to giving feedback effectively will not only add to your Leadership skillset but also help your people develop and improve.